Odds of Surviving Cancer Increase with a Little Help From Your Friends

According to study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, married people with cancer were twenty percent less likely to die from their disease, compared to people who are separated, divorced, widowed or never married.

However, you don't need to run out and marry the first person you see, because the "real secret to survival" may be "social support," said the study's first author Ayal Aizer, chief resident of the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in Boston.

Senior author Paul Nguyen, a radiation oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in a statement:

We don't just see this as an affirmation of marriage. Rather, it should send a message to anyone who has a friend or loved one with cancer: By being there for that person and helping them navigate their appointments and make it through all their treatments, you can make a real difference to that person's outcome.

If you have a solid support system — people to nurse you through therapy, drive you to appointments, make sure you take your meds and eat properly — that could add the extra oomph in kicking cancer's ass.

Shutterstock/Robert Lessmann

[USA Today]